|Medium:||Cartoon series, video games, comics, picture books, movies|
|Country of Origin:||USA|
|Click here for related articles on Fanlore.|
SpongeBob SquarePants is an American animated television series created by marine biologist and animator Stephen Hillenburg for Nickelodeon. The series chronicles the adventures and endeavors of the title character and his various friends in the fictional underwater city of Bikini Bottom. The series' popularity has made it a media franchise, as well as the highest rated series to ever air on Nickelodeon, and the most distributed property of Viacom Media Networks.
Nickelodeon held a preview for the series in the United States on May 1, 1999, following the television airing of the 1999 Kids' Choice Awards. The series officially premiered on July 17, 1999. It has received worldwide critical acclaim since its premiere and gained enormous popularity by its second season. A feature film, The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, was released in theaters on November 19, 2004, and another one, The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water, was released on February 6, 2015.
There is also a musical with its own fandom, particularly on Tumblr.
SpongeBob references (screenshots, quotes, and plots) are broadly recognizable to millennials and Generation Z, and circulate the internet in many viral memes. People on Reddit, Tumblr, and other prominent internet meme places are generally fond of the show. Fans widely agree that the quality of SpongeBob declined after the release of the first movie, around the time of Hillenburg's departure from the creative staff in 2004; thus, most popular memes are derived from the first three seasons.
In 2011, a newly discovered fungus was dubbed Spongiforma squarepantsii, in honor of SpongeBob SquarePants.
The theme song is apparently one of the most popular marching songs in the Russian military.
After Stephen Hillenburg's death in November 2018, an internet petition on Change.org emerged to have the song "Sweet Victory" (a song from the show) played at the NFL's Super Bowl LIII's halftime show. This was not a random one-off event as CBS held the broadcast rights to that season's Super Bowl broadcast. Maroon 5 hinted that they would be including SpongeBob in the show, but contrary to the high expectations of fans, they only used a short clip to introduce another music artist. This sparked some drama over on Reddit. In response, NHL team Dallas Stars played an edited clip of the cartoon performance during their half-time show the next day.
- SpongeBob SquarePants/Sandy Cheeks ("Spandy")
- SpongeBob SquarePants/Patrick Star
- SpongeBob SquarePants/Squidward Tentacles
- "Squidward's Suicide", a popular creepypasta - later referenced by canon in Season 12, Episode 5A, "SpongeBob in Randomland".
- WHAT AM I, Archived version by mephiles101, a grimdark demon AU - After mephiles101 won a SpongeBob-themed deviantART contest hosted by Hot Topic, this design appeared on officially licensed merchandise.
- SpongeBob Live Action Remakes by Froyo Gamers
- Suponjibobu Anime Ep #1: Bubble Bass Arc -  by Narmak
- SpongeBob Reanimated Collab 2019 ("Help Wanted") 
- SpongeBob "Band Geeks Reanimated” Collab 
- 34285660 - Japanese fan artist, heavily features anthropomorphism
- SpongeBob SquarePants on voca.db - SpongeBob as a fan-made UTAU
- Google Drive link to "Love Is War" and "118"
Archives and Communities
- SpongeBob SquarePants works on Archive of Our Own
- SpongeBob SquarePants stories and crossovers on FanFiction.Net
- #spongebobsquarepants on DeviantArt
- r/spongebob on Reddit
- r/BikiniBottomTwitter on Reddit
- SpongeBob on the Nile at Tumblr
Links & Resources
- Wikipedia page
- Nick.com site
- SpongePedia, a fan wiki
- Encyclopedia SpongeBobia, a fan wiki
- SpongeBob Fanon Wiki
- SpongeBuddy Mania, large fansite with forums
- Know Your Meme page
- TV Tropes page
- /r/OutOfTheLoop. Why does Reddit love Spongebob so much?. 7 May 2015.
- Jackson, Laurel Michelle. "How Did SpongeBob SquarePants Become the Most Meme-able TV Show?" published 11 May 2018 on Vulture. (Accessed May 23, 2018.)
- Wikipedia. Spongiforma squarepantsii
- Malsin, Jared."Is SpongeBob SquarePants the New Che Guevara?" published to VICE circa February 2013. (Archived 1 April 2013.)
- "Meet Egypt’s unusual Tahrir icon: SpongeBob SquarePants" published to Al Arabiya on 28 May 2013. (Archived 28 May 2013.)
- "Sponge Bob Soviet Army", posted to English Russia on 14 February 2014. (Accessed September 2020.)
- /r/SubredditDrama. Sweet Victory isn't being played at Half-Time, r/NFL is going ballistic, mods are removing everypost that mentions SpongeBob. 3 February 2019.
- Winkle, Luke. "Inside the wild speedrunning community of 16-year-old SpongeBob: Battle for Bikini Bottom", published to PC Gamer on 25 September 2019. (Accessed September 2020.)
- SPEEDRUN.COM (Accessed September 2020.)
- Hughes, William. Yep, SpongeBob just directly referenced a classic creepypasta about Squidward killing himself published to The AV Club on 21 September 2019. (Accessed September 2020.)
- Wikipedia. Squidward's Suicide. (Accessed September 2020.)
- deankus. does anyone know what’s up with that shirt of anime Spongebob transforming into a muscular version of himself behind broken glass?, Archived version posted to Tumblr on 28 May 2019. (Accessed September 2020.)